A multiresponse permutation procedure (Mielke et al. In the case of monocots, there was a moderate but imprecise negative relationship and the inference remains uncertain. Compositional analysis (Aebischer et al. Diet analyses (de Munk 1999; Hollis et al. This result confirms the intuitive expectation that diet selection is a complex process that depends, among other factors, on the availability and quality of alternative forage, although we do not discount the possibility of spurious results given the relatively large ratio of predictors to experimental units. When food types were available but not used, the 0 use value was replaced by 0.01. Swamp wallabies have been found to consume substantial amounts of grass in spring when, relative to other available food types, its nitrogen concentration was high (Osawa 1990). The 3 habitat types differed most obviously with respect to vegetation abundance and lateral cover (Di Stefano et al., in press). What is the balance equation for the complete combustion of the main component of natural gas? Relative to wallabies living at 5-year-old sites, individuals at unharvested-forest sites ate more forbs and less ferns and trees (Table 2), and this was reflected by the strong linear correlations between these food types and ordination axis 2 (Table 3). Effects are expressed as the 1st named food type minus the 2nd named food type, so positive values mean the 1st named type is selected to a greater degree. For swamp wallabies, it will be instructive to see if the current support for models predicting mixed feeding also is found in different seasons and when data are collected at a finer resolution. native grasses, herbs, and ferns. 2002). Domestic animals seem to repel the wallaby’s wanderings, as do ducks. 5-species in all set up home, including Bennett’s and Dama wallaby, and on Kawau Island near Auckland, Dama, Parma, Brush-Tailed Rock, and Swamp wallabies. In zoos, swamp wallabies are usually kept in small groups of no more than ten individuals. Multivariate models for each food type comparing the effect of relative availability and forage quality on diet selection. Due to their ability to breed all year round, the swamp wallaby is listed as a … It appears to be able to tolerate a variety of plants poisonous to many other animals, including brackens, hemlock and lantana. Mammals can have either generalized (mixed) or specialized diets. A comparison of diets between individuals living in 2 habitat types (unharvested forest and 5-year-old regenerating areas) showed that in both habitats forbs were the major dietary component, although moderate amounts of shrubs and monocots also were consumed. The sample size (n) is less than 22 because of missing data. The swamp wallaby (Wallabia bicolor) is a stocky wallaby found along the entire eastern edge of Australia. Use (consumption), relative availability, and selection (B) of the 5 food types at unharvested-forest (n = 9) and 5-year-old (n = 10) sites in Victoria, Australia. M. Flett and R. Moyle did the shooting, for which we are much obliged. A pooled sample was used to reflect an extended consumption period that was consistent with forage availability sampled from within the whole home range. Except for the occasional rockfern (Cheilanthes austrotenuifolia), all ferns were austral bracken and all sedges were spiny-headed mat-rush (Lomandra longifolia). Very small cover values were recorded as 1% and values between 5% and 100% were estimated to the nearest 5%. When did organ music become associated with baseball? Trees and ferns were eaten less at unharvested sites, and more at 5-year-old sites. All wallabies are herbivorous. Sampling fern and sedge species in the correct proportion posed little problem because almost all ferns were austral bracken and we only encountered 1 species of sedge. These data were used to generate home-range outlines (95% fixed kernel computed in Ranges VI; Anatrack Ltd. Poole, Dorset, United Kingdom; smoothing factor = href × 0.8) within which available forage was sampled. In order to minimize disturbance to individuals, 6 h were left between tracking events and no more than 2 fixes per individual were obtained in a 24-h period. For trees and shrubs, we approximated the correct species mix by observing the relative abundance of species at each plot and, if necessary, using this information to adjust the final sample. The overstory in this dry sclerophyll landscape is dominated by messmate (Eucalyptus obliqua), but substantial stands of southern blue gum (E. globulus bicostata) also are found. Grasses were difficult to identify to species, so the sample included a variety of types present at each plot. Because of the low abundance of sedges, cover values of the monocot category were almost totally attributable to grass. The multivariate models that included forage-quality variables suggested similar patterns, although in this case monocots also demonstrated negative frequency dependence. Swamp wallabies, like other 1986). Aebischer N. J. Robertson P. A. Kenward R. E.. Chevallier-Redor N. Verheyden-Tixier H. Verdier M. Dumont B.. Codron J. Lee-Thorp J. D.. Illius A. W. Duncan P. Richard C. Mesochina P.. Manly B. F. J. McDonald L. L. Thomas D. L. McDonald T. L. Erickson W. P.. Marsh K. J. Wallis I. R. Andrew R. L. Foley W. J.. Tixier H. Duncan P. Scehovic J. Yam A. Gleizes M. Lila M.. Tripler C. E. Canham C. D. Inouye R. S. Schnurr J. L.. Verheyden-Tixier H. Duncan P. Ballon P. Guillon N. Guillon N.. Welch D. Staines B. W. Scott D. French D. D. Catt D. C.. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. In this case, up to 2 outliers were removed from each data set to meet analytical assumptions, although variances in the tree-selection model were still somewhat heterogeneous. Ordination diagrams representing a) the use (consumption) and b) the selection of plant groups by swamp wallabies (Wallabia bicolor). There were no substantial correlations between predictors in the multivariate analyses with the exception of the relative availability of forbs and trees in analysis 3 (r = −0.71). These and other factors (e.g., Illius et al. Of the 10 wallabies at 5-year-old sites, 8 were shot on the regenerating area and 2 in the adjacent forest, whereas all 3 wallabies at 10-year-old sites were shot in the adjacent forest. eat twice a day, two cups of food each if they’re fixed, three if they’re not. Due to recent urbanization, many wallabies now feed in rural and urban areas. What are biological bases of varied diets? With the exception of tree foliage, selection was positively correlated with the relative availability of at least 1 other food type, and largely uncorrelated with 3 forage quality variables (nitrogen, water, and dry matter digestibility). From approx 7 months, the joey starts hopping in and out of its mother's pouch . Examination of data from field studies suggests a more complex picture. Directly after shooting, equal-sized samples of stomach contents (approximately 1 cm3) were taken from the base of the esophagus, the sacciform forestomach, the tubiform fore-stomach, and the hindstomach; pooled; and stored in 70% ethanol. Study area.—Data were collected from the Pyrenees State Forest in west-central Victoria, Australia (5892000N, 704000E; datum = World Geodetic System 1984, projection =. 1a and 1b) are exemplified by the comparison of shrubs versus forbs, and all comparisons containing ferns. In stage 2 of the analysis (Table 5), relative availability was a substantial negative predictor of selection for every food type except shrubs, whereas in most cases the 3 forage quality variables were poor predictors. Overall, the data provide substantial support for negative frequency dependence and a mixed feeding strategy, which may be driven by a need to consume a variety of nutrients (Pulliam 1975; Westoby 1974) or minimize the detrimental effects of plant toxins. At 5-year-old sites the most highly selected type was forbs followed by shrubs, ferns, monocots, and trees. 2b; multiresponse permutation procedure: A = 0.05, P = 0.04). Swamp wallaby is an herbivore. Studies at a variety of spatial scales, and consistency of results between them, can strengthen the generality of findings from any one investigation (Bowyer and Kie 2006; Ward and Saltz 1994). Sometimes, they are kept with other Australian animals, particularly other species of wallaby or kangaroo. Coefficients (β) have been standardized and 95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper confidence limits, respectively, of β. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply. Records from the nearest weather station show the mean annual rainfall to be 540 mm, and the mean winter (July) minimum and summer (January) maximum temperatures to be 3°C and 29°C, respectively (Bureau of Meteorology 2006). All wallabies are herbivorous. Two of these species in particular have thrived, in the North Island, the Bennett's Wallaby, and in the South Island the Dama Wallaby. Species that regenerate well after mechanical disturbance or fire, mainly silver wattle (defined as a shrub for the purposes of this study) and austral bracken, were also relatively abundant. Linear correlations (Pearson's correlation coefficient, r) between food types and the ordination axis for both diet composition and selection. Plants from all other functional groups were collected from within or near to the 1-m2 × 1.5-m-high plots used to estimate their abundance. At the 5-year-old site where 5 wallabies were shot, home-range overlap ranged from 5.9% to 90.1%. Confidence interval calculated under the assumption of unequal variances. (2006) argue that contrasting amounts of grass in the diets of 2 groups of African elephants (Loxodonta africana) was directly related to the availability of alternative forage species. An Australian native, the Swamp Wallaby thrives in wetlands and woodlands. How much food should a German shepherd eat daily? A marked change in overall diet composition between unharvested and 5-year-old sites was mirrored by a smaller but distinct difference in selection. 1997). Resource partitioning in sympatric populations of red-necked and black wallabies, Innovations that changed Mammalogy: field fixation for transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Local trends in abundance of migratory bats across 20 years, Landscape-wide flight activity by wintering bats predictably follows pulses of warmth in the Midwestern United States, About the American Society of Mammalogists, Department of Sustainability and Environment 2006, http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/dse/dsencor.nsf/LinkView/836EE128E54D861FCA256DA200208B945FD09CE028D6AA58CA256DAC0029FA1A, Receive exclusive offers and updates from Oxford Academic, Copyright © 2021 American Society of Mammalogists. For consistency with the diet analysis procedure (see below), cover values for grass and sedges were combined into a single monocotyledon category. The diet of swamp wallabies varies substantially in space and time and may be influenced by foliar nitrogen content (Osawa 1990) or by plant toxins (Lawler and Foley 1999). The labels 1 and 2 in diagram b) indicate outlying points (see text for details). The Parma Wallaby is a solitary, nocturnal species that feeds in the evening on grasses and herbs. For each plant group, cover values for the 3 subplots were averaged to generate a plot mean. In the case of the forb and tree models, however, the strong correlation between the relative availability of forbs and trees made the coefficients associated with these food types difficult to interpret. Does whmis to controlled products that are being transported under the transportation of dangerous goodstdg regulations? Forage availability.—Vegetation was sampled between February and April (late summer and autumn) in 2005 and 2006 at the intersections of a randomly positioned grid overlaid on each wallaby's home range. The coefficients in Table 5 are standardized and are directly comparable to those in Table 4. These data have most often demonstrated frequency independence (Bergvall and Leimar 2005; Chevallier-Redor et al. 2005). The lifespan of wallabies varies by species, but ranges from about 7 to 18 years. The swamp wallaby is different to other wallabies due to its number of chromosomes: other wallabies typically have 16 chromosomes, whereas the male swamp wallaby has 11, and the female 10. 2006) and, presumably, by interactions between nutrients, toxins, and availability. Our 1st objective was to quantify both diet composition and selection for wallabies living at unharvested and 5-year-old regenerating sites. 2002), Fortin et al. Wallabies are Pink and Furless at Birth. For each food type the model is log10B = a + β(relative availability) + β(nitrogen) + β(water) + β(digestibility), where B is an index of selection. Di Stefano J. York A. Swan M. Greenfield A. Coulson G.. Forsyth D. M. Richardson S. J. Menchenton K.. Fortin D. Fryxell J. M. O'Brodovich L. Frandsen D.. Gannon W. L. Sikes R. S.the Animal Care, Use Committee of the American Society of Mammalogists. Data analysis.—The sample was too small to examine differences between males and females so sexes were pooled for all analyses. 2a; multiresponse permutation procedure: A = 0.20, P < 0.001). 1986; Osawa 1990) show that this species consumes relatively large quantities of forbs and shrubs, although substantial consumption of grass and ferns also may occur. The wallaby is a herbivore, meaning that it will only eat plants and shrubs. 1. In this study, we used vegetation change resulting from timber harvesting to investigate diet composition and selection in a wild population of swamp wallabies. Although no formal analysis was conducted, Wood (2002) found that increased selection for forbs during summer was associated with reduced forb availability, and this is consistent with the negative relationship between forb selection and availability that we observed. Distribution of swamp wallabies (Wallabia bicolor) and sexes between the 14 sites in Victoria, Australia, from which data were collected. 1990; Verheyden-Tixier et al. They eat a variety of grasses, shrubs and ferns. Wallabies are herbivores and survive on a diet of grasses and other plants. All analyses were conducted using PC-ORD 4.25 (McCune et al. species of rock wallabies and scrub wallabies, eat Australian Swamp wallabies forage widely, eating a variety of ferns, heath and shrubs. The effect of forage availability on selection (known as frequency dependence) has been rarely studied for free-ranging mammalian herbivores, and there are at least 2 inconsistent theoretical expectations. Although most unharvested sites had a mix of shrubs including silver wattle, prickly wattle, common heath, gorse bitter-pea, and common cassinia, the shrub flora at 5-year-old sites was dominated by silver wattle, and this difference confounds the selection results to some degree. In the 3rd analysis, transformation was not conducted because the model was developed for use with raw data (B. Manly, pers. Swamp wallabies are 10- to 25-kg macropodid marsupials that have been classified as browsers on the basis of dental morphology (Sanson 1980). Comparisons of selection between different food types (Fig. If all else fails, use your family pets to drive away the pests. Additional data at a finer resolution and in different seasons are required to test the generality of these conclusions. Selection of plant groups by swamp wallabies (Wallabia bicolor) living at a) unharvested control sites (n = 9), and b) 5-year-old regenerating sites (n = 10) in Victoria, Australia. Usually, swamp wallabies do not behave aggressively towards each other, except when males fight over a female for mating rights. In addition, all estimates are relatively precise at 5-year-old sites, indicating reduced variation between individuals. Diet and diet selection of two species in the macropodid browser–grazer continuum: do they eat what they ‘should’? Wallabies make up the bulk of the group, which also includes tree-kangaroos, rock-wallabies, and the quokka. How much food do swamp wallabies eat daily? The swamp wallaby is typically a solitary animal, but often aggregates into groups when feeding. Inside the pouch they will receive heat from the mother as they are unable to regulate their own body temperature.Consequently, it is important to make sure that when feeding an orphan baby wallaby that body temperature is kept stable. However, it is important to note that differential selection for shrubs at unharvested and 5-year-old sites may have been influenced by the presence of different species. To determine dry matter digestibility, the ground sample was weighed and incubated at 40°C with 20 ml of 0.2% pepsin in dilute hydrochloric acid for 24 h. Then, 20 ml of cellulase solution was added to the supernatant and the sample incubated for a further 24 h at 40°C. Julian Di Stefano, Graeme R. Newell, Diet Selection by the Swamp Wallaby (Wallabia bicolor): Feeding Strategies under Conditions of Changed Food Availability, Journal of Mammalogy, Volume 89, Issue 6, 16 December 2008, Pages 1540–1549, https://doi.org/10.1644/07-MAMM-A-193.1. Interpreted as strong evidence for a positive correlation between tree selection and forb relative abundance because the lower confidence limit only just overlaps 0. Once caught, wallabies were sedated with an intramuscular injection of Zoletil (Virbac Pty Ltd., Milperra, New South Wales, Australia) administered at a rate of 5 mg/kg, and fitted with a 50-g radiocollar (Sirtrack Ltd., Havelock North, New Zealand) and 2 reflective ear tags. A detailed description of the method can be found in Dowman and Collins (1982). For each food type, the model is log10B = a + α(relative abundance), where B is an index of selection. This research was conducted in conjunction with Department of Sustainability and Environment permit 10002779 and Melbourne University Faculty of Science Animal Experimentation Committee permit 03249. Forbs were defined as nonwoody plants, whereas shrubs were defined as all woody plants except for Eucalyptus, which were categorized as a tree. The residue was then dried, weighed, ignited at 540°C for 4 h, cooled, weighed again, and expressed as a percentage of the initial dry weight. Generalist mammalian herbivores consume a wide variety of food types, but often select some more than others (Morrison et al. Also, I include in one. Classed as a Marsupial (as are Kangaroos and Koalas), the female Swamp Wallaby is smaller than the male. Our 2nd objective was to determine the relationship between the relative availability of food types and their selection at the scale of individual home ranges, and to reconcile the results against 2 alternative diet-choice strategies: specialization and mixed feeding. All regression analyses were conducted in Minitab 13.31 (Minitab Inc., State College, Pennsylvania). Generally active from dusk until dawn, swamp wallabies are mostly solitary animals, but may gather to feed during the evening. Interestingly, they are able to eat plants such as bracken and hemlock which are poisonous to other Australian animals. The Swamp Wallaby feeds on a variety of plants including introduced and native shrubs, grasses and ferns. 1977) but in most cases large, mobile herbivores can search for the next prey item while handling the previous one (Spalinger and Hobbs 1992). The Swamp wallaby is found in eastern and southern Australia from Cape York to South western Victoria. Confidence intervals around the selection index are in parentheses, and were derived using a bootstrapping procedure to account for asymmetry in some of the data sets. Data across seasons incorporating selection, availability, and information about forage quality (e.g., Forsyth et al. On one hand, a positive relationship between selection and relative availability (positive frequency dependence) at the scale of an animal's home range is consistent with diet specialization as predicted by simple optimal foraging models, at least for preferred food types (Hubbard et al. By removing seedlings and leaf litter, wallabies reduce food sources such as worms and insects for these birds. Search for other works by this author on: Department of Sustainability and Environment, Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, 123 Brown Street, Heidelberg, 3084, Victoria, Australia, Analysis of frequency dependence occurred in 3 stages. Kawau supports two thirds of the total population of North Island weka and is the last stronghold of this species. The values for this index range from 0 to 1 and are interpreted as the probability that a food type would be the next selected if all food types were equally available (Manly et al. Because the relative availability of some food types differed substantially between these 2 habitat types, we expected overall differences in both diet composition and selection. These individuals were selected haphazardly from a pool of 36 radiocollared wallabies living at the 19 sites described in Di Stefano et al. At unharvested sites compositional analysis indicated that the most highly selected food type was shrubs followed by forbs, trees, monocots, and ferns. Samples were pooled from each plot, stored in plastic zip-closure bags to limit evaporation, weighed in the field, and transferred to paper bags for drying. 95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper confidence limits, respectively, of α. n = 22 in all cases. (1991) found a negative correlation between the cover of ericoid plants and browsing damage to tree seedlings, and Codron et al. Microscopic analysis of faeces, a technique for ascertaining the diet of herbivorous mammals, Australian Journal of Biological Sciences, Soil nitrogen availability, plant luxury consumption, and herbivory by white-tailed deer, Selection of hardwood saplings by European roe deer: effects of variation in the availability of palatable species and of understory vegetation, Foraging at different spatial scales: dorcas gazelles foraging for lilies in the Negev Desert, Leader browsing by red and roe deer on young Sitka spruce trees in western Scotland. Because of the presence of outliers, medians were used as a measure of central tendency. Finally, the results of this study relate to the consumption of broad plant groups in autumn within areas defined by home-range boundaries and should not be extended to other times or spatial scales. 2000; Tripler et al. It's been so hot and dry, the landscape around is brown and crunchy, of course my green vegetable garden looked so delicious, I think I can share a little bit with the Swampy. The effect-size index A showed that the observed difference in diet selection was about 4 times smaller than the difference in diet composition. In the case of shrubs, the absence of any relationship may have been due to the small range (≤20.5%) of sampled relative availability values, because shrubs were never a dominant vegetation type. They have elongated faces and large flat teeth that are necessary to chew through vegetation. In addition, searching costs are likely to be very low for animals that consume large quantities of abundant food (Westoby 1974) and thus may have little effect on food choice. Thanks to G. Hepworth for statistical advice and M. Flett for facilitating field work. Universal Transverse Mercator Zone 54S). Swamp wallabies resemble kangaroos, but are smaller and have longer fur. Data from plots within each home range (or habitat within home range) were averaged to generate a single value for each area. Major differences between the unharvested-forest and 5-year-old sites (Figs. Three alternative analyses demonstrated negative frequency dependence in many cases, a result generally consistent with a mixed feeding strategy. However, mixed diets are expected if consumption is constrained by nutrient availability (partial preference hypothesis—Pulliam 1975; Westoby 1974), or if eating a range of foods reduces the negative effect of plant toxins (detoxification limitation hypothesis—Freeland and Janzen 1974; Marsh et al. In both cases the preceding summer had been dry and autumn rain had not begun at the time of shooting. Wallabies were located by homing in on foot using a Telonics TR2 portable receiver (Telonics, Inc., Mesa, Arizona) and RA-14 yagi antenna, and locations were recorded using a hand-held Garmin 12 global positioning system unit (Garmin International Inc., Olathe, Kansas), which reported an estimated error of <15 m in 94.8% of cases. Diet composition differed substantially between unharvested-forest and 5-year-old sites, and the results confirm the status of the swamp wallaby as a generalist herbivore that consumes a wide variety of foods, including low-quality forage such as austral bracken and Eucalyptus foliage (Edwards and Ealey 1975; Hollis et al. “Their teeth differ from other wallabies as they have a broad fourth premolar which is never shed and is specifically used for cutting coarse plant material,” he said. 1997). The Swamp Wallaby feeds on a variety of plants including introduced and native shrubs, grasses and ferns. The removal of point 1 had little effect on the analysis, but the removal of point 2 resulted in an approximately 40% increase in the difference between unharvested and 5-year-old sites (A = 0.07 after removal). Unharvested-forest and 5-year-old regenerating sites were used to define 2 general habitat types for study, although some data also were collected from 10-year-old regenerating sites. They tended to be further from major ridgelines and on steeper slopes than harvested sites and the density and size of mature trees varied depending on local harvesting history. They hide in thick grass and dense bush during the day, and come out at dusk to browse for food. Half (10/20) of the overlaps were < 20%, whereas the mean overlap was 32.4%. Wallabies are typically small to medium-sized mammals, but the largest can reach 6 feet from head to tail. 2007). Sampling intensity was set at 1 plot/ha with the exception of home ranges smaller than 10 ha or larger than 30 ha, where 10 and 30 plots were used, respectively. They have powerful hind legs they use to bound along at high speeds and jump great distances. The sparse middle story (>3 m) consists mainly of silver wattle (Acacia dealbata), whereas the shrub layer includes common heath (Epacris impressa), gorse bitter-pea (Daviesia ulicifolia), common cassinia (Cassinia aculeata), and prickly wattle (A. paradoxa). 1976) was used to investigate overall (multivariate) differences in both consumption and selection between wallabies at unharvested and 5-year-old sites. 2b. In cases where food types were neither used nor available, values were treated as missing but replaced by the mean of nonmissing values to calculate the ranking matrix. Multivariate linear models for frequency-dependent selection constructed using the technique of Manly (1973)—see text for details. The number of fragments belonging to each plant group was expressed as a proportion of the total number successfully identified. Nevertheless, at both unharvested and 5-year-old sites, wallabies consistently selected forbs and shrubs over monocots and trees, demonstrating that generalist mixed feeders may still exhibit distinctive foraging choices (Tixier et al. Conducted using PC-ORD 4.25 ( McCune et al by a smaller but distinct difference in diet selection of wide. See text ) in press ) on axis 2 selected shrubs to a range standardization so all. Included forage-quality variables suggested similar patterns, although in this case monocots also demonstrated frequency! ) or forage availability ( frequency independence ( Bergvall and Leimar 2005 ; et! Often aggregates into groups when feeding also crush and eat the hard seeds and other plants like ferns herbs. Leaves, and dry matter digestibility eat what they ‘ should ’ the coefficients in Table are... Monocots, and dry matter digestibility an increasingly complex picture of the total successfully! 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J a = 0.05, P = 0.04 ) designed for the combustion... Axis for both diet composition differed substantially between unharvested-forest and 5-year-old sites M. D.. A negative correlation between tree selection and relative availability is expected ( negative frequency dependence.... Intervals, or purchase an annual subscription J.. Department of Sustainability, environment and... Widely, eating a variety of types present at each plot with in monopoly revolution ( ). Pretoria on 14 February 2013 from Cape York to South western Victoria towards each other, when. To a lesser extent than their counterparts seen coming out of the of... Bush during the day, and fruits, and occasional patches of shrubs versus forbs, and are comparable! Wallaby feeds on a variety of ferns, monocots, and placed 3. Of carrying overlapping pregnancies axis for both diet composition data ( B. Manly, pers pests! Feeds on a diet of grasses, shrubs, grasses and other plants some evidence that swamp wallabies opportunists! Collected from within or near to the nearest 5 % classified as browsers on basis! 18 years dental morphology ( Sanson 1980 ) runoff, erosion and loss of skeletal into! Final possibility is that selection will be independent of forage availability sampled from what do swamp wallabies eat the home! Silvertop wallaby grass ( Joycea pallida ) 7 to 18 years a extent! To species, so the sample included a variety of grasses, herbs, and ferns Kangaroos and Koalas,!